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Questions tagged [optics]

Optics is the study of light, and its interaction with matter. It includes topics such as imaging systems, fiber optics, lasers, quantum optics, and more.

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Fermat principle

According to Fermat's principle, the actual path taken by a light ray in space locally minimizes the "optical length". It is possible to use the optical length (for some given function n) to defined ...
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2answers
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Has any terrestrial experiment been carried out which proves whether light can be thrown sideways or not?

Let me stress, TERRESTRIAL EXPERIMENT, as distinct from astronomical observations of the transverse Doppler effect, stellar aberration and so on. To clarify what I mean by 'thrown sideways'. ...
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What is the difference between a transparent material and an opaque one at the atomic level?

What is the difference between a transparent material and an opaque one at the atomic level? I know that something is transparent to light because the energy of the photons that correspond to visible ...
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Phase change in reflection from mirror

I know that a wave have 180 degree phase change when it goes from a rarer medium to denser medium. So does the phase change when light is reflected from mirror. Here how can we say that light ...
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Dispersion of cavity photons

I read a paper called "strong coupling phenomena in microcavity structure" in that with regard to photons in a microcavity For small $k$, the dispersion is parabolic, and so it can be described by ...
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understanding effective length of a microcavity

to find the effective length of a microcavity you have to take into account the penetration outside of the cavity (as in quantum tunnelling) Leffective=Lcavity+Lpenetration and mainly what's ...
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2answers
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Image formed via a converging lens when the object is placed at focal point

In the case where the object is placed at focal point F of a converging lens, the rays of light (the one passing through O and the one sent parallel to the principal axis never meet) so I am assuming ...
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4answers
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Refractive index of mirror

What is the refractive index of a common mirror (mercury coated)? As a mirror completely reflects the light ray, do it have infinite refractive index?
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Find max& min of intensity of light in single slit diffraction using 1st & 2nd order derivative o [on hold]

Like using 1st & 2nd order derivative to find max & min point of any function calculate max & min energy of energy equation in single slit difraction using 1st & 2nd order ...
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Phase Changes during Reflecion

I want to ask that whether there is any phase change during reflection of a P-polarised wave? I know that for a S- Polarised wave there is a phase change of 180° when wave travels from rarer to denser ...
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How to combine limits when integrating in the frequency domain

I want to combine the signal of two separate pulses in the frequency domain in order to calculate their overlap (by multiplying the two signals together and integrating). However, one of these signals ...
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Finding the principal plane of a spherical lens with radius R

For an experiment I will be using this equation for a compound lens: $\frac{1}{f} = \frac{1}{f_1}+\frac{1}{f_2} - \frac{d}{f_1f_2}$ $f_1$,$f_2$ are the effective focal lengths and $d$ is the ...
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Can a spinning fan look stationary when illuminated by a flashing light?

When light flashing rate is the same as a fan’s spinning rate, can you see the fan standing still? I remember reading something like that and can’t seem to find it. Is this incorrect? If so, is there ...
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What are these radial and azimuthal “$s$ and $p$ polarization” vectors for a free-space EM beam representation?

I'm reading the rather interesting recent paper Role of Radial Charges on the Angular Momentum of Electromagnetic Fields: Spin-3/2 Light. O. El Gawhary, T. Van Mechelen, and H. P. Urbach. Phys. ...
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1answer
37 views

Is it possible to have an optical version of a greenhouse? With optical fibers?

Optical fibers transport light within them using internal reflection, but the light only enters from one end of the fiber. Is it possible to somehow have light entering from the sides of the fiber (...
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Are impedance matching, wave-vector matching and phase matching equivalent?

Suppose we are considering refraction (if I understand correctly, that is also a type of coupling of light to a second medium). Generally we equate the wave-vector component parallel to the interface ...
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Physical meaning of the Glauber-Sudarshan $P$ representation [on hold]

I cannot imagine how the Glauber-Sudarshan $P$ representation will be useful in quantum optics considering the complexity in its mathematical formulation. I need your help to clarify the concept of $P$...
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1answer
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What defines the color of objects? [duplicate]

Its the wavelength of the reflected light that gives us the perception of color? But how is this possible while we know also that electrons emit the absorbed photons? so we get 1 color from the ...
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Does a shadow truly have a speed? Is it an illusion? [duplicate]

If a shadow is no information, does that mean when you say a shadow is faster than the speed of light it is the equivalent of saying no information is faster than the speed of light? If a shadow is ...
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what is an “AC stack effect” [closed]

I was reading in a quantum optics textbook about strong binding, and I read that the rabi splitting can be thought of as "AC stack effect induced by the vacuum." ive tried googling it. all I get is ...
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1answer
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Why is the spine of a book blue?

This is a photo of a recentish book taken while backlit from a window. Notice that the pages have a slight yellow tinge to them, what I would call paper white. However you can see that the pages look ...
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3answers
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Can a lens be used at radio frequency?

Lenses and Antennas are two means of manipulating EM waves. While antennas are predominantly used at RF / Microwave frequencies, Lenses are used for optical/IR regions of the spectrum. I understand ...
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2answers
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Why does purple appear in a rainbow?

It is said that people and digital cameras have color sense only for red, green and blue. So when we see violet/purple in a rainbow, whether with our eyes or in a photo, we should be seeing a color ...
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Extracting the absorption of a thin film layer

I am currently working on a problem, where i want to calculate the absorption of a semiconducting 2D-material which is sanwiched between two dielectrics and based on a mirror. The stack is therefore: ...
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27 views

Refraction through slanted glass [closed]

When searching on the internet, I can't find anything on how to find the angle of incident of a light beam through a slanted glass. I know how to find it when an angle is given or if the glass is in ...
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Practical Example of Huygen's Principle

Huygen's Principle is the idea that a plane wave traveling through a slit will expand outwards after passing through a slit. http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/phyopt/huygen.html I was ...
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Variation in Young's double slit experiment

In Young's double slit experiment two rectangular slits are used.What will happen if instead of two rectangular slits two concentric circular slits(of small radii) are used,the distance between their ...
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1answer
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Dispersion of light in prism and change in medium [closed]

I have kept a source of light in air and there is prism through which light disperses. Now I keep the light source and the prism in water which has greater refractive index than air but less than ...
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1answer
24 views

Wave optics, intensity distribution

Do Gaussian beams have a gaussian intensity distribution? If so, why? Does the intensity distribution depend on the profile of the light beam?
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How can we see through the matter like glass [duplicate]

I have a very peculiar question. We have some categories of substances like transparent, opaque, translucent. My question is when it comes to transparent objects like glass which is solid, how can we ...
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1answer
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Fourier Optics - Distribution on Fourier Plane

Suppose we have a lens of focal length $f$. The general statement of Fourier Optics goes as follows: Given an aperture function f(x, y) in the front focal plane, the lens "effectively" takes the ...
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1answer
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Dispersion and wavelength

Why does dispersion increase with wavelength? If I understand correctly, refractive index is decreasing with wavelength. As a result, greater wavelengths are traveling faster. How does this cause the ...
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1answer
25 views

Experimental verification of Phase Reversal of light

Light after reflection, undergoes phase reversal of 180 degrees when incident from a rarer to denser medium, is there a way to experimentally prove this? I have got a He-Ne laser as a source. Can I ...
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1answer
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Using Stokes parameters, how do I quantify the co-polarization and cross-polarization?

Given the Stokes Vector $$S_i = I_0\begin{pmatrix} 1 \\ 0.6 \\ -0.2 \\ 0.07 \end{pmatrix}$$ how do I quantify the polarization? Is there a way to say $S_i$ is $x$% right- or left-hand-circular, $y$%...
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3answers
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Does reflection preserve wavelength?

If a photon at a certain wavelength gets reflected on a surface, does the reflected photon have exactly the same wavelength? If not, what is the distribution of its wavelength? I know about up- and ...
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1answer
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The electric field in the focal length of a strongly focused lens

I have a Laguerre Gaussian beam and I want to focus it by using a strongly focusing lens. But my question is that I don't know what will happen to the electric field structure in the focal length ...
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Is there any epoxy/sealant that is optically clear and can withstand temp up to 400C? [duplicate]

Any polyimides-type or any glue that can tolerate that temp AND be able to transmit visible light not uner 80% transmission?
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What is Chirped Pulse Amplification, and why is it important enough to warrant a Nobel Prize?

The 2018 Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded recently, with half going to Arthur Ashkin for his work on optical tweezers and half going to Gérard Mourou and Donna Strickland for developing a technique ...
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1answer
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How to make light beam to be super narrow?

I am doing a project to use a regular laser beam to be super narrow (25um diameter). I am thinking to use some lens setup to do that. Does any lens setup can make a 5mm diameter laser light source to ...
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3answers
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Can a plane window create a constant divergence or convergence beam?

If we consider a plane window as a lens, then both the radius of the lens is infinity and its focus lies at infinity. So if a light beam coming from infinity and parallel to the principle axis then ...
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3answers
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Understanding reflection through polarization

I came across the following explanation: The source of this so-called reflected light is not simply that the incident beam is reflected; our deeper understanding of this phenomenon tells us that ...
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2answers
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Fock states and beam splitters

A classical beam splitter divides incoming light into two parts according to the reflection and transmission coefficients. A quantum beam splitter on the other hand, can be modelled using Fock states,...
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1answer
34 views

Acousto-optical modulator (AOM)

Suppose the RF frequency of the driver of an AOM is 40 MHz. I understand that it will Doppler shift the diffracted first order beam by 40 MHz but how does it modulate the amplitude of that first order ...
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Why do reflections on a rough surface stretch from the light source towards you instead of spreading out in all directions? [duplicate]

When light reflects off a "flat ground" surface, the reflection stretches vertically but not horizontally (as shown in the pictures below). When light reflects off a "vertical wall" surface, the ...
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2answers
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How to interpret and calculate scattering in a dark-field microscopy?

Dark-field microscopy setup from wikipedia, which says the images in dark-field microscopy are scattering lights from the sample. My questions: When the sample is illuminated, is it correct to ...
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1answer
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Difficulty in understanding an optics question

So here's the question:- A thin film of transparent material of refractive index $1.52$ and thickness $0.42\ \rm \mu m$ forms a thin coating on glass of refractive index $1.60$. It is viewed by ...
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What's a good textbook to learn about Diffraction in Optics?

I am taking a course in Fundamental of physics for Chemists, Below is the areas I want to learn Franhouofer diffraction Rectangular and circular apertures resolving power Single slit double slit ...
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19 views

Raise index of refraction of spherical lens

What happens to focal length and aperture of a spherical lens if you raise the index of refraction of the glass?
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Why don't we use sign convention during the derivation of a lens maker formula?

Please have a look at the lens makers formula: http://www.quantumstudy.com/physics/ray-optics-15/ In any derivation of Geometrical optics, we use the sign convention twice: once while deriving it ...
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What orientation of light do polarizing filters actually let through?

I've been trying to understand how polarizing filters work but I have been getting conflicting answers with regards to what direction the polarized light comes out as. On The Physics Classroom, it is ...